Major Snowfall Hits Central Virginia Blue Ridge Area

Photo By Shelby Ralston Bruguiere: The license plate on Shelby & John’s car pretty much sums up the snowstorm of March 6, 2013. This tree fell on their car in Afton Wednesday morning under the weight of heavy snow.

Central Virginia Blue Ridge
As Tommy had been talking about for several days, the snow hit Central Virginia in a very big way! People living in the area woke up to as much as 15 inches of snow at Wintergreen Resort where it was still coming down around 10:30 Wednesday morning.

Photo By BRLM Photographer Marcie Gates : This was the snow depth around 6:40 AM Wednesday morning – March 6, 2013 at Wintergreen Resort around 3500 feet in elevation.
Video By BRML Photographer/Writer Marcie Gates: Click on player mage above to view video Marcie shot around noon from the foot of the slopes at Wintergreen Resort where nearly 2 feet of snow fell Wednesday – March 6, 2013
Photo Courtesy of Emily Ferren : Emily measured around 9″ of snow Wednesday morning in Afton near Veritas Vineyard & Winery. That amount certain to go up as the snow kept falling.

Power outages are widespread:

March 6, 2013 – 11 AM

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative Outage Status

As of 11:00 AM, 6978 CVEC members are without electric service due to the winter storm. That number is down from a peak of over 8,000 earlier this morning.

Higher outage totals are found in 5 substation service areas in the western portion of the CVEC service territory and along the Interstate 64 corridor with a total of 21 substation service areas affected by outages. Here is a summary of the major outages by substation area:

• Red Hill in Albemarle County (511 Outages)
• Whitehall in Albemarle County (1346 outages)
• Midway (658 outages) in Albemarle County
• Piney River Substation (1113 outages) in Amherst and Nelson Counties
• Martins Store (1624 outages) in Nelson County.
• Zions (476) serving Fluvanna, Louisa and Albemarle Counties
• Doubleday (263 outages) in Orange County
• Cash’s Corner (249 Outages) in Louisa County
• Cunningham (125 Outages) in Fluvanna
• Kidd’s Store (124 Outage) in Fluvanna
• Ferncliff (111 Outages) in Fluvanna and Louisa Counties
Members may view these outage totals and track restoration progress by visiting the Outage Web Map at CVEC has received reports of high call volume in the region and high web traffic to utility websites. CVEC asks members to report their outages when possible but offers the assurance that our Outage Management System has the ability to predict what line segments are affected by outages.

CVEC crews are working to restore service and will respond to any new outages that occur during the remainder of the storm. Their efforts are being bolstered by 11 visiting crews from Powell Valley Electric Cooperative, Blue Grass Energy, and Clark Energy, who were pre-staged at CVEC prior to the storm

What are crews finding in the field? Conditions are difficult and dangerous. The heavy wet snow is causing trees to fall which also impedes the progress of vehicles off-road. This slows restoration progress and often requires crews to transport materials by foot and repairs be made without the full use of equipment. Crews must also be aware that other trees may fall in their work area and must have a plan to ensure their safety.

For members that request a prediction of restoration time, CVEC asks that members understand the orderly power restoration process. Often, multiple trees have fallen along a section of the power line, requiring crews to begin restoration efforts at the fault location nearest the substation. Once repairs are made at that location, the crew will re-energize the line. If all is clear along the line segment, then power will flow to the end of the circuit. However, if there is another tree on the line, then energy will flow to that fault location until a protective device, such as a fuse or recloser, operates, causing a new outage to occur, further from the substation and affecting fewer members than the previous outage. Crews then move to the new fault location, make repairs, and re-energize the line. This process continues until all fault locations have been addressed. It is effective and gets the most members restored as soon as possible but makes predictions of restoration time for any one individual difficult.

As always, Cooperative members are advised to stay away from any downed power lines, and they may report outages by calling 800-367-2832 or by visiting

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, not-for-profit, electric utility serving the rural portions of 14 Virginia counties.

Photo By BRLM Mountain Photographer Paul Purpura : It was near whiteout conditions Wednesday morning on the mountain in Nelson County, VA at Wintergreen Resort. Winds were gusting to more than 40 MPH at times. This is Potato Patch lift.
Photo By Steve Crandall : Cars littered Route 664 (Beech Grove Road) in Nelson County around 12:30 PM Wednesday afternoon – March 6, 2013.
Photo Courtesy of CBS-19 Charlottesville: Sights like this were common all over the Central Virginia Blue Ridge area. This semi jackknifed on I-64 Wednesday morning – March 6, 2013. It was just one of 200 accidents reported early that morning.

In addition to accidents, power outages have become a large problem due to the heavy wet snow pulling down power lines and trees. Nearly 90,000 Virginia residents were without power Wednesday morning.

Photo By Yvette Stafford – Blue Ridge Life: But no question, this was the best part of the day. Junior Publisher Adam Stafford (L) and sister Juniorette Publisher Peyton Stafford making the perfect snowman!

Tommy says the snow will begin tapering off by late Wednesday afternoon, but the winds will hang in there into the evening.

Thursday looks mostly sunny with temps in the 40’s in the valley and near 30 in the mountains.

By Sunday, temps will be in the mid 50’s with sunny skies.


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